Note: This page is for 1990s and 2000s IF/OF Eric Young Sr.; for his son who played in the 2010s, click here.
Eric Orlando Young Sr.
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 180 lb.
- School Rutgers University
- High School New Brunswick High School
- Debut July 30, 1992
- Final Game September 19, 2006
- Born May 18, 1967 in New Brunswick, NJ USA
Eric Young was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and scouts Gil Bassetti and Steve Lembo as a 43rd round pick in the 1989 amateur draft. He was drafted only a few spots lower than Jason Giambi, though Giambi would not sign and would later become a second round draft choice. Ironically, Giambi was later a teammate of Eric's son, Eric Young Jr., with the Rockies. He had been a two-sport star at Rutgers University, playing both baseball and football, having been recruited on a football scholarship.
When he first came up with the Dodgers at 25 midway through the 1992 season, he was the second baseman in a very young infield that also featured 1B Eric Karros (24), SS Jose Offerman (23) and 3B Dave Hansen (23). That was enough for some observers to label this the second coming of the famed infield of 1B Steve Garvey, 2B Davey Lopes, SS Bill Russell and 3B Ron Cey that stayed together for over a decade in the 1970s. However, this infield did not have quite the same longevity, as Young was claimed in the expansion draft after the season. By the time he returned to the Dodgers towards the end of the 1997 season, only Karros remained from the promising quartet of young players.
Young hit the first home run at home in Colorado Rockies history; it came as the lead-off batter in Colorado's home opener on April 9, 1993, off Kent Bottenfield of the Montreal Expos. He led the National League in July 1995 with a .406 batting average. He also had a 19-game hitting streak that year. He retired after the 2006 season and had a 15-year career in the majors, encompassing 1,730 games, and hitting .283 with 79 homers, 996 runs, 543 RBIs and 465 stolen bases.
Following retirement, Young worked as an ESPN analyst on Baseball Tonight from 2007-2009. In 2010 he began his coaching career as the minor league outfield & baserunning instructor for the Houston Astros. In 2011, he became the first base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks and returned to this role in 2012. Young went back to the broadcast booth in 2013, this time as a Studio Analyst for CSN Houston.
In 2014, he moved to the Rockies as first base coach and outfield and baserunning instructor, staying until the end of the 2016 season. In 2018, he was named first base coach of the Atlanta Braves, Young was one of a number of players and coaches around baseball to skip the 2020 season because of health concerns during the Coronavirus pandemic. He was replaced by DeMarlo Hale before returning to his old job in 2021. Young remained the Braves first base coach through the 2023 season.
Young was eligible for election to the Hall of Fame in 2012. However, he received only one vote and was dropped from the ballot. In addition to Eric Jr., he has another son, Dallas Dupree Young, born two decades after Eric Jr. in 2006, who is a budding actor. After appearing on a number of shows, many of them for the Nickelodeon channel, he was selected in 2021 to play the part of a teenaged Willie Aikens in a biopic called The Royal, about Aikens' troubled but remarkable life. He also appeared in a leading role in the fourth and fifth seasons of the television series Cobra Kai, another role where his athletic gifts were in evidence.
- NL All-Star (1996)
- NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1996/2B)
- NL Triples Leader (1995)
- NL Stolen Bases Leader (1996)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (1996 & 1997)
- 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 3 (1996, 1999 & 2000)
- Stolen bases, game, 6, 6/30/1996 (tied)
- Mark Bowman: "Eric Young Sr. proud of son, a budding actor", mlb.com, February 14, 2021.